The Tragic Assassination of Gdańsk Mayor Paweł Adamowicz Should Lead to Stronger Sentences Against Criminals in Europe

Much of Europe remains in shock after Gdańsk Mayor Paweł Adamowicz was stabbed to death whilst on stage at a Christmas concert. While some have attempted to paint Adamowicz’s assassination as politically motivated, these claims are not supported by the evidence that the wider world is privy to. After somehow managing to enter the stage, the assassin stabbed Adamowicz multiple times before grabbing a microphone and announcing to the crowed that his actions were motivated by a self-described desire to avenge the fact that under the previous Polish Government of Adamowicz’s Civic Platform party, he was “wrongfully jailed”.

Based on the criminal’s own words, the only thing “wrong” about his imprisonment is that it ended. This fact is the root of a wider European problem that led to the tragic assassination.

When compared to the sentencing of criminals in other continents, European courts tend to be supremely lenient when sentencing criminals. As the assassin in Gdańsk has a reportedly large criminal record, it was nothing short of negligent that someone who had broken the social contract and become a rogue outlaw should have been free to walk among normal members of society. Tragically, because of lax sentencing, like many criminals negligently released from imprisonment, the assassin’s anti-human acts became only more perverse over time and as a result, an innocent man has been slaughtered like an animal before a crowd that included women and children.

While Poland has also been in the news lately due to its arrests of individuals associated with the Chinese tech giant Huawei, instead of following the US and Canada into a unnecessary ‘war on Huawei’, Poland ought to instead learn from China about how to put criminals in a place where they will not be able to harm innocent men like Adamowicz.

China is set to execute a Canadian criminal who was convicted of running a narcotics syndicate on Chinese soil – a syndicate that sought to export drugs to other nations in the wider Asia-Pacific region. By executing this criminal, China is sending a clear message that criminal acts against the Chinese people will not be tolerated and that furthermore, the road that begins with drugs will ultimately lead to death.

Not only are firm punishments for the criminal element a deterrent to crimes of opportunity, but by giving the criminally insane either life sentences or capital punishment, they will not be free to harm society in the future. The idea that criminals can be “rehabilitated” is more fantasy than reality and is often used as a lazy excuse to release criminals from their prison cells more due to lethargy among public policy makers than out of any real acknowledgement that a criminal has mended his ways.

Even the United States has made better use of its flawed criminal justice system vis-a-vis most European nations and this is saying quite a lot as the US system is very far from perfect. This is the case because across the US, the so-called “three strikes law” is designed to protect society by giving dangerous criminals an automatic life sentence if they have two prior convictions on their criminal record.

A strong argument could be made that there should be a ‘one strike law’ for all individuals who commit a reckless criminal act. In either case, it is high time for Europe to re-examine its leniency against criminals.

While some in Poland continue to jump on Donald Trump’s anti-China bandwagon, Poles ought to reconsider, not least because if Paweł Adamowicz was a local Chinese politician, he would likely still be alive.

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